Sounds of the Orchestra

 
(i)

 

Poor sound quality hampers orchestra app.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Everything is tap to touch. There's some light reading, but the app is mostly pictures and sounds.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
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Consumerism

A link on the main menu leads to the App Store and another app by the same developer. There's also a link to review the app.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that problems with audio quality limit the educational value of Sounds of the Orchestra. The app aims to teach beginners about the different musical instruments that make up a classical orchestra. It's divided into three sections: "Learn" shows the layout of the orchestra with information about each instrument, "Listen" lets players tap on an instrument to hear a sound clip of it, and "Play" is a memory-matching card game for up to four players.

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Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

SOUNDS OF THE ORCHESTRA is an app that lacks quality audio -- an oversight that limits its value as a teaching tool. The instruments sound like computerized MIDI samples, and in an age where high-quality sound banks of real recorded instruments are readily available there's no excuse for not using them. What's more, the music the instruments play is often out of context, like a saxophone playing an excerpt from The Nutcracker ballet, or a trombone playing part of a Mozart string quartet. Kids will learn a few basic facts about instruments, but if you want to teach them what an orchestra really sounds like, play them a CD or take them to a concert.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$1.99
Release date:September 26, 2010
Category:Music
Publisher:Smappsoft
Version:1.0
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1.3 or later

This review of Sounds of the Orchestra was written by

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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